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Games Being Played Right Now Latest Searches pokemon snap online game free for mac, afterburner games online, rc grand prix online, rig and dig, pc game, Elsoliado, tiny toon 3 game, game yoshi 52s new super mario bros.hack world 1, backyard soccer free download, super zelda 64, nescafe. The other two games that strongly retain their playerbase are Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2, both having over 7 million subscribers. And some new titles have also seen some success, such as Black Desert Online and Blade & Soul.

ENTER OUR WORLD OF FREE MMORPGS, SLIP INTO A NEW ROLE AND BECOME ENCHANTED There is an infinite amount of RPGs designed for consoles, browsers and smartphones. But what do the three letters that keep on popping up stand for?

RPG is the abbreviation for Role Playing Game, which gives inexperienced users a much better idea of what it entails. Once you start exploring the RPG category on mmogames.com, you will find free MMORPG online games that you can play online using your computer or smartphone. These role playing games aren’t just a virtual phenomenon. In real life, groups of people gather for live role playing games, also called LARP (Live Action Role Play). Dressed up in costumes and with necessary equipment, role players act out scenes from their favorite vampire, zombie, sci-fi or Western fiction, only to name a few.

For tabletop or pen-and-paper role-playing games, players sit in a circle and explore new worlds without leaving the living room. Users enter fascinating worlds with MMORPG games online Participating in free MMORPGs online is incredibly simple. All you need is a computer and a stable internet connection. You can also find the right online MMORPG on your smartphone, tablet or console. Just check the! But why do so many users love these games? It’s an amazing experience for a person to slip into the role of a fictional character who might have completely different character traits.

At the beginning of an online MMORPG, you can choose your avatar and a matching personality. Oftentimes, there is a selection of warriors, villains, magicians, paladins and more. Just like the different character types, there is also a variety of settings:. Dark Age.

Horror. Post-Apocalypse. Fictional worlds like “The Witcher“-universe, “Dungeons & Dragons” and more In the beginning, the avatar that you choose in your free MMORPG game only has basic skills and features, which is what you will have to work on during the game. Over time, you can improve your character’s skills and expand his or her portfolio by adding new ones. At the same time, the avatar in an MMORPG will have to face challenges that become increasingly harder, which is why so many gamers feel drawn to this genre. Quest after quest to success Quests represent an important part in a role-playing game.

In general, quests are tasks that have to be fulfilled over the course of the game. NPCs (Non-Player-Characters) usually present you with the task that will help you reach your goal. Next to the main quest that advances the storyline, you also need to complete side quests.

These serve to evolve your avatar who can find useful items along the way while taking part in many other adventures that strengthen his or her skill set.

We, at Metaverse, are a legion of passionate community folks. We range from foodies to family entertainment bloggers, digital photography hobbyists, super gamers, and beyond. Often, fellow Mods write blog posts on their passions and knowledge base. Not only is it a great opportunity for us to dive into the spirit and diversity of our team, but it’s also a great chance to share another viewpoint on the digital landscape. Please enjoy this fun piece on ArcheAge, and how it appeals to the sandbox gamer, and the theme park gamer alike! There’s a classic Saturday Night Live commercial-parody in which Dan Akroyd and Gilda Radner squabble over whether a spray-can product is a floor wax or a dessert topping – only to have Chevy Chase interject in his best announcer-voice that they’re both right – it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! This bit of humor keeps popping into my brain whenever I consider an analogous debate in the world of MMORPGs – sandboxes vs.

Theme parks – and how that distinction plays out in the latest game I’ve been playing,. So what do the terms “sandbox” and “theme park” mean when discussing MMOs? They relate to the degree of freedom players have to wander anywhere in the world and do their own thing to earn experience, skills, loot, in-game monies, and other goodies, versus having to stick to pre-programmed activities and level-restricted zones in order to garner all those things.

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Many games these days are actually hybrids of the two styles – and ArcheAge definitely fits into the hybrid category. There are indeed quests in ArcheAge – both an overarching story quest for each of the playable races, and lots of side-quests that range from extended dire adventures to cute little errands. But it’s the sandbox aspects that most intrigued me about ArcheAge. The full world is open-access –no instances or restricted zones. Players also have a great deal of latitude to build farms, houses, and even castles, either on their own or in self-organized guilds; to make trade runs with packs of crafted goods wherever and however they choose to organize them; they can even craft sailing ships to explore the extensive open seas surrounding the three main continents. To be sure, since a lot of the land cycles through PvP open seasons, and the sea is all PvP all the time, you and your guild mates need to be prepared to defend self, possessions, trade goods, ships, and land from the opposing faction or even the budding pirates among your own faction but even if PvP is not your thing, you can work around this by dodging the areas currently or permanently at war and sticking with the exclusively PvE areas. The sandbox play is of course not the only reason I’m enjoying ArcheAge so far.

Another is its cultural background. ArcheAge was originally created by Korean game designer Jake Song and his company XL Games, and the Asian influence is strong in the game’s art, landscaping, character design, and soundtrack – especially in the game’s eastern continent and the playable races that make their home there. ArcheAge’s Western producer/localizer, Trion Games, has even left a number of the open-world NPCs with their Korean-voiced dialog intact (with English subtitles in chat). As an unabashed fan of Asian culture both traditional and pop, I get a real kick out of seeing how the Korean team imagined their fantasy world in the eastern continent (I’m playing an anthropomorphized feline influenced by historic Mongol nomadic warriors), instead of the more Westernized fantasy tropes of chivalric humans and inscrutable elves.

My current plans for this game include hooking up with a friend who has already built a farm and a trading ship, and has offered to let me place my little beginner farm on his property and to fend off the pirate-players as I make my first intercontinental trade run. I was following some of the quests, but I may or may not continue with those theme park rides; frankly, I’m much more intrigued by what kind of fun I can get up to in the sandbox. Heck, I might even get involved in building a “sand” castle or at least a nice farm of my own.

Ellen Brenner Project Manager This entry was posted in and tagged,. Bookmark the. Not too long ago, people received physical disks in box sets when purchasing a game for a PC or game console. Today, the popularity of instantaneous, fully-downloadable games has replaced the need for physical box sets. What is the harm in this, you say? We can get content faster!

But if you thought this would make it cheaper – you would be wrong. Despite claims by the game industry that costs would drop due to the removal of pricy packaging, downloads are still averaging $40, $50, and $60 per game. Clearly, no promised savings there, and no stylish box set to show for it. Beta testers needed for stock uploader for macbook pro.

Before Steam (and similar download sites), there was a time when the internet was too young for fast download speeds from. Games had release dates and shipment dates and Live dates. And there were stores dedicated to these physical games, such as Circuit City, Computer City, CompUSA, Electronics Boutique and Babbages which all had loyal customers who flocked to the stores to paw through rows and rows of games. None of these chains exist anymore. There was an excitement felt when a game finally had a ship date. The savvy consumers and the gaming elite would have a copy reserved at multiple stores, just in case.

And who could forget the sudden touch of the flu the day a much-anticipated game came out, leaving fans at home with plenty of time for gameplay binging sessions. On that special release day, gamers would rush over early, wait impatiently until opening time for his or her brand new (reserved) copy – straight from the shipping crate. If you neglected to preorder a copy, or found that a store had leaked the game first, you would frantically call around, hoping to snag one before they were out of stock. Once you had that sweet, sweet cardboard box in your hand. Then it was a race home (with a fast stop for the essentials: food and drink), followed by delicately unwrapping those plastic disks and placing them – oh so carefully – into the console or computer disk tray. During the booting process, the manual would be visually digested as fast as humanly possible. Although most manuals were outdated by launch (gamer tip), it was dynamic, and it had some decent information for basic play.

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Special editions often came with a special map or “collector’s edition” miniature (prized trophies for shelves and desktops). How awful it was to be one of the poor schleps who had to wait until the work day ended, or (horror of horrors) until they could get their own copy a few days later because of stock availability (or lack there of). Whether you would play until the server crashed or until the sun rose, you would then lovingly put the game disk(s) back in plastic sheath(s), insert the game back into the box, and proudly display it on the shelf with other conquered titles. Each game a cherished memory of game play and aesthetics, a tribute to the effort it took to secure and the ability to claim yourself as one of the “first” to play.

I can’t deny that downloadable games are easier to obtain, are better for the environment, and are more recent (you can download or update to the most recent version with little hassle, as patching used to be a nightmare). But gone are the stories of the hunt, the pride in the physical copy, and the trophy box on a shelf – a prized library of effort, status, fun, and memories. Mike Marcantel Account Manager This entry was posted in and tagged,. Bookmark the.

One of the most interesting additions to Microsoft software that I’ve seen in a while was demoed a few weeks ago at. Gurdeep Singh Pall, Microsoft VP, and Diana Heinrichs, Microsoft employee, demoed a pre-beta version of their new translation feature,. Until now, smaller app features from companies like Microsoft and Google have allowed for speech-based translations in multiple languages, but these apps did not cater as strongly to whole conversations. Instead, they more or less divided up conversations into parts — smaller sized portions to translate. With the exception of watching Xbox Live for the first time, I can’t remember when Microsoft impressed me so! As you witnessed in the demo video, Skype Translate translated the live conversation between Singh Pall (speaking English) and Heinrichs (speaking German) in real time, with only a short delay after every few sentences. This translation feature is, by far, the fastest voice-translation app I’ve seen on the market.

There is a huge impact this feature could have on the support industry. Has a pool of 5000 or so mods from all over the world.

A large portion of the team is bilingual, or remote in another country where English is a secondary (or tertiary) language. As a project manager, I often have to jump into situations with my global staff and participate in non-English conversations. Since we’re a large company, with a lot of talent in our midst, we often leverage our bilingual teammates, and quickly conquer any language barrier to provide the best support for our client. Not all companies are as lucky as we are! There are a lot of companies who do not have a diverse, multi-lingual staff to support global customers. I’ve worked on plenty of moderation or customer support projects where, even though the company’s primary language is English, we will still come across customers or community members who are not fluent. As mods, we are geared to provide the best support to everyone, and must access additional translation support tools if bilingual support is not readily available.

In the context of a global community, Skype Translate has the potential to better facilitate the building of relationships between diverse people and cultures. For example, I am a competitive multiplayer gamer and within the gaming platforms I have the opportunity to engage with really great players from around the globe, who may not speak the same language. Regardless of the barrier, we still team up and play with simple call outs and short sentences, or without speaking at all, thus relying on skill to carry our team through. I can see Skype Translate bridging that language barrier, if paired with Microsoft’s Xbox One, or via the Skype interface paired with online gaming. The potential to build new connections and friendships and partnerships is refreshing, and exciting.

Keep an eye out for the feature when it goes live! And if you need more help on localizations, translations, or building global staff —! That’s what we’re here for. Jay Biros Project Manager This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the. Every now and then I discover a new online thrill that completely captures my imagination (and incidentally large hunks of my spare time).

My latest obsession is the critically acclaimed. Prior to this, I had not been much for MMO type games, to the frustration of many of my game-playing buddies. The concept of total immersion in a fantasy world certainly had appeal for me, but the heavy emphasis on lengthy elaborately-structured warfare situations, not so much. However, the designers of Guild Wars 2 built the game with the goal of providing a satisfying experience for a wide variety of playing styles, from casual PvE adventurers to hard-core PvP warriors. I quickly found I could get plenty of enjoyment from just touring around the world exploring at my own preferred pace. And there is a huge amount to explore. Guild Wars 2 picks up the fantasy world of Tyria about 250 years after the events of the original Guild Wars.

It is a rich and complex world, interweaving traditional sword-and-sorcery mythmaking, newfangled steampunk/alchemical technology, complex political intrigues, and even bits of philosophy and spirituality, to rival many classic fantasy fiction novels with which I’m familiar. All of this is rendered in breathtakingly beautiful art and state-of-the-art animation, so that one feels at times like one is wandering around the latest Peter Jackson production — or perhaps a Maxfield Parrish painting. My main player character, a Sylvari ranger, in The Grove, the Sylvari home city. The creativity extends to the variety of character types you can choose to play. The five playable races include humans (both nobles and commoners); Norn, a race of Viking-esque giants; Asura, a Ferengi-like diminutive race of technological geniuses; Charr, a fierce feline warrior race who, to steal another Star Trek metaphor, remind me mightily of Klingons; and my personal favorites, the Sylvari. These elven-like tree people are born, fully adult and sentient, from a huge goddess-like tree, with whom they are all interlinked by a cosmic collective consciousness known as the Dream of Dreams. In addition to more traditional profession choices like warriors, guardians, rangers, the rogue-like thieves, and three types of spellcasters (elementalists, mesmers, and necromancers), GW2 introduces a new class, the engineers, who excel in bombs, gizmos, elixirs, turrets, and other technologies that go splodey.

But what is interestingly absent is a separate healer class. Everyone has some healing ability for themselves and their fellow players; in fact, all these professions are extremely flexible, and can to a certain extent even cover each other’s roles when playing together in guilds and raiding parties. But perhaps the biggest innovations in Guild Wars 2 are in the area of events and new content. There are a number of more traditional-style dungeons, plus the previously-mentioned areas for individual and team PvP; but the majority of events happen out in the public PvE environment where anyone passing by can participate, and earn loot proportional to the extent they help – in other words, “stealing kills” is a non-issue in this game. And instead of expansions, the developers of Guild Wars 2 release new content every few weeks, arranged in “Living Story” arcs that result in permanent changes to the game’s world. Oh, and one other thing: Guild Wars 2 requires no subscription.

You pay once to acquire the software client, and that’s it. There is of course a shop where you can buy fun cosmetic pretties for your avatar and such, but these are totally not required in order to play and enjoy the game. There is so much more that I could burble on about with regards to Guild Wars 2, but for now I will leave you with this video trailer featuring some of game’s great voice acting talent – featuring Steve Blum, well-known in anime circles as the US voice of Cowboy Bebop’s Spike Spiegel among many others, and Felicia Day, uber-geek-girl mastermind of the hit web TV show The Guild. Ellen Brenner Social Media Project Manager This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the. In a world where entertainment businesses defend to the death even the tiniest shred of intellectual property, the idea of an online game-maker putting the entirety of a game’s assets in the public domain seems like something out of a utopian fantasy.

But that’s exactly what the creators of the late, lamented browser-based MMO known as – an act of generosity that surprised its adoring fans not one bit. You see, Glitch had always been a maverick among MMOs.

The brainchild of Flickr founder, Glitch had nearly no warfare or competition component of any sort, and zilch reference to any of the common MMO genre tropes. Instead it offered a virtual world that looked and behaved like a Dr. Seuss book as re-imagined by Cheech and Chong, in which players helped the eleven sleeping giants in whose dream this world existed by carrying out acts of creativity and cooperation. Unfortunately, while Glitch developed a devoted and fanatical following, it never grew big enough to put the game into the black, financially. One can’t help thinking it was because Glitch was just too darned different – that the majority of adult gamers preferred more conventional MMOs with battles, bosses, and kabooms. For only a few months when (as Butterfield was known within the game) sadly his decision to call a halt to the dream.

While I was surprised at how deeply this saddened me, I was even more surprised – and moved – by how both players and devs (short for developers) rose to the occasion. The forums were filled with huge outpourings of gratitude to the game-makers, plus genuine grief over losing something so rare in the world of gaming. The devs, meanwhile, feverishly rolled out tons of content they had been working on so that we could all enjoy it before the shutdown, plus additional “end-of-the-world” content that gave a real sense of closure. Myself, I spent the last few weeks of Glitch roaming the far corners of its world, grieving all the wild and wacky beauty that was about to go pffffft in a cloud of pixels.

So you can just imagine my joy over this decision to put all that beauty in the public domain, for us Glitch fans to use as we see fit. There had already been an active cottage industry of fan-created arts and crafts based on the game, the more so since its closure – but now, with the original art and even the Flash code available to all, the possibilities are endless.

All I can say is: Stoot, you’re a class act, and I hope your generosity and vision serves as an inspiration to the industry. Ellen Brenner Social Media Manager This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the.

Cyberbullying is the use of digital communications, such as the internet or cell phones, to harass or intimidate another person, with the intent of causing fear, anger, or sadness. Bullying is done in person, for the same reasons, and often has a physical component. In one of my community & moderation projects for, I often see the results of both bullying and cyberbullying. Teenagers and young adults share openly about the pain and humiliation they’ve suffered, and the lasting scars it leaves. We all probably remember what it feels like to be singled out for some abuse. Is there a single person who has never experienced this? I highly doubt it.

I wasn’t brutalized, by any means, but I was the short kid, and had a last name (Hammer) that drew remarks. However, my worst incidents of bullying actually happened at the hands of a teacher who didn’t like me. I was in third grade, and to this day, the sting and humiliation remain. There are several reasons why cyberbullying can “feel worse” than in-person bullying for the victim. The source is unclear. It might come from random Twitter handles, unknown Facebook accounts, or unrecognized cell phone numbers.

It’s meaner. People will use crueler words when they feel anonymous. In person, they might tell your child to shut up, but anonymously, they’ll tell your child to drink bleach and die.

It spreads so quickly. So many people can see a social media post instantly, and technology makes it so quickly to share it all.

It feels like everyone knows, because it’s possible for everyone to see. It doesn’t end. In-person bullying ends when you go home from school, or when you’re no longer “in-person.” Cyberbullying can happen at night, on weekends, on holidays, or while you’re away on vacation. Is it possible that kids are just meaner now, and it’s not really cyberbullying? Well, yes, that’s possible. Things like “ur so lame” and “i hate ur music so much” are common, and really aren’t bullying.

They’re just sort of impolite words. The difference seems to be in the person’s intent, and how often it happens. If the person uses digital means to repeat cruel words and actions many, many times, even over the course of days or weeks, with the intention of causing someone to be upset, scared, or intimidated, it’s cyberbullying. What do we do about it?

This week, in the town where I live, a mother became very frustrated about people bullying her sophomore son. She posted a message on Facebook that said, “And they asked why do people shoot up schools, well this is exactly why and when our son does it cause I know he will have nobody to blame but the administration and I promise everyone he will only get the ones that caused this. He is an excellent marks men.” Here’s a tip, folks: This is NOT the best way to handle it.

For older kids, it can be more difficult. They’re beginning to feel like they should deal with their own problems, and don’t want the stigma of being someone who goes running to their parents when someone bothers them. Parents can help by being present and available for their teens, and by occasionally bringing up the subject to provide opportunities for discussion. All kids should be taught that they should block anyone who is harassing them, without responding or retaliating, and that if the messages are threatening or if they continue, they should save them, by taking screen shots or printing the messages. And most importantly, they should talk to you about it — with your reassurances that you won’t freak out and do something that makes it worse.

If the situation is happening in an online game, it should be reported (by your child), using the tools provided. The best scenario, of course, is that your child uses a game that utilizes actual human moderators, such as the good folks of Metaverse Mod Squad. Michelle Ramage is Metaverse’s project manager for a large, sports-related kid’s virtual world. According to Michelle, their problems mostly concern general “mean talk” or harassment.

Says Michelle, “Any player who is found to be repeatedly harassing another player has their account suspended. We just don’t tolerate it.” If the situation involves someone the child knows, and blocking the bully hasn’t ended it, you may need to take additional steps. This is where you’ll be glad that you saved the messages.

You can report the person to the social media site where it is occurring. If the messages contain threats of harm, sexually explicit words or photos, hate speech, or reach the level of stalking, you should report it to the police. Additionally, many schools have a policy about things outside of school that lead to disruption inside school. Since cyberbullying can often lead to in-person, physical bullying, you may want to report it to the school, as well. So, parents, stay strong. Talk about these things, and more importantly, LISTEN. Think before you take action. Seek advice from level-headed friends.

It really does get better. Susie South Chief Moderator This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the.

The world of eSports; what was once a simple concept at a LAN party has evolved into an enormous worldwide phenomenon. With millions of spectators watching on TV, with millions more watching online, it’s hard to ignore its popularity. Whether it is 1 vs.

5, the online arena offers more than just competitive play, it offers competitive pay. But the question, dear readers, is: A re you game enough? Just how big is the eSports World? There was a time when only a few friends watched as you reigned supreme in Street Fighter down at the arcade. If anything, you were trying to beat your friend’s high score in Donkey Kong or Tetris.

Possibly the earliest known, for Spacewar. Today, eSports events attract crowds of over 5 million, including both online and in-game spectators. What were once professional Counter-Strike matches has evolved into an increasing number of games spanning multiple genres including racing, first-person shooters, fighting games and the fan-popular real time strategy games like StarCraft. ESports Games Regardless of their genre, each of these games have one thing in common, they are all competitive games where you are pit against each other in a struggle for the big cheese – the trophy, international fame and fans, and paycheck. Games such as my personal favorite, League of Legends, and others like DOTA 2, StarCraft II, Counter-Strike, Warcraft III, FIFA 14, Street Fighter IV and Forza Motorsport 3 are all examples of games played on a professional level. In other words, if it has multiplayer, it’s bound to be an eSport one day.

Are you game enough for 10 people, or more? What was 1 vs. 1 in Street Fighter or Tekken has turned into a massive arena of 10 or more players, putting their skills to the test in a “do or die” matchup.

If you are serious about eSports, you need to be game enough to take on 10 or more people at the same time, if not work with them. ESport titles such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and DOTA 2 all require team work while others such as FIFA 14 and Forza Motorsport 3 require you to pit yourself against players in multiple team formats. There’s a competitive market for any type of gamer.

Are you game enough for a $400,000 paycheck? While eSports may seem silly to many people, I guess a $400,000 paycheck is silly too, right?

Many professional gamers earn in one weekend what people spend an entire year trying to earn. However, the road to that paycheck is not easy. You need to practice, practice and, practice. Did I say practice? ESports, whether you like it or not, is becoming one of the biggest worldwide phenomenon. When most regular sports are rarely sold out, the Los Angeles Stales Center sold 15,000 tickets within 60 minutes to the.

With more popularity day by day, gaining even more momentum with the increasing number of competitive titles, our dreams are coming true and gamers are able to create a profession out of their passion. ESports will overtake and overshadow regular sports soon enough. The question is: will you be a competitor or a spectator? Scarlett Dowdy Project Manager This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the. Everyone knows the books ( in the US & Canada).

It drove some of us crazy constantly searching for globetrotter Wally with his trademark nerd glasses, red-and-white striped pullover and woolly bobble hat, and his uncanny ability to be expertly hiding where no one thought he would be; while other people were able to devote themselves happily to the task for hours on end, enjoying the discovery of thousands of other silly images while on the search. These days, the main objective with our favourite games remains the same- to master the game until we’ve completed it by defeating the final boss. The end credits appear on the screen and you lean back feeling satisfied. But was that really it? Aren’t there any other story-lines, treasure chests, Easter eggs to be discovered, or other achievements to be made?

If you take a look at the game statistics, you can see if you have missed something fun, like a side challenge or alternative game opportunities, which makes some people start the game all over again. I like to refer to these two groups of players as “hunters” and “gatherers.” I belong to the former category, the hunters – those who rush through the game as fast as they possibly can. Upgrade weapons? Higher level character? Who cares if the battle against the big boss takes half an hour instead of ten minutes? The main thing is: I’ve done it!

When my husband watches me gaming, he often throws his hands in the air in horror. I hear remarks like “You didn’t search that cave,” or “There’s probably hidden treasure over there” at regular intervals, followed by sighs of resignation. The situation isn’t any better the other way round.

When I watch him play, I can happily take a nap for a few hours with the knowledge that when I wake up, he will hardly have moved from the spot. He explores every corner of the map, searches every trash can, talks to every NPC, and accepts/completes every side quest.

Pure torture. As representatives of both “hunters” and “gatherers,” we can admit that there are advantages to both sides. My husband and I are unbeatable in co-op mode, just like hunters and gatherers were a perfect combination many thousands of years ago.

While I’m jumping about chopping up one opponent after another, he uses the time to search for hidden objects or coins. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that. There are people who started their gaming career as hunters but then developed into gatherers so they could enjoy experiencing every last detail of their games. Or gatherers who get sick of poking around looking for an ordinary torch in the darkest corners of the scariest horror games. It’s definitely a good idea to think outside the box.

How about a compromise? “Gatherers” could leave lost swords lying there where they found them more often, and to even things out a little, “hunters” could occasionally ask themselves whether they were missing out on part of the great gaming experience. I’d just like to close with a question: are you hunters or gatherers? Yvonne Zimmerman Moderator This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, especially a console gamer. With the launch of the and the now just around the corner, both Sony and Microsoft have been giving us more and more glimpses of what we can expect from the next generation of console gaming at recent major industry events such as,.

In addition to showing off some truly awe-inspiring graphics (made possible by cutting-edge performance improvements), both companies have spent considerable time recently highlighting the extensive online features of their new systems. These will include seamless multiplayer functionalities that now allow players to instantly jump into their friends’ live game sessions, to the simple capture and sharing capability of game footage to player networks, and a highly anticipated cloud-based game streaming service. One additional feature has received comparatively little attention so far, but it may well be one of the most interesting and promising ones. The next generation will finally see the cooperative and competitive combination of hardcore and social gaming. Although full details are not entirely clear, we know already that players will be able to participate in ongoing single and multiplayer game sessions in real time on a variety of mobile devices —this includes all current iOS and Android platforms.

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This will be huge! So far only two game titles will support this capability:. Watch Dogs probably one of the most highly anticipated upcoming games. It is an action-adventure that combines elements from the most successful genre franchises of this generation —like,. Watch Dogs is an action-adventure that combines elements from the most successful genre franchises of this generation, such as,.

The game lets the player slip into the role of Aiden Pearce, a high-tech vigilante on a personal vendetta in a Chicago of the not-too-distant future. In both the single and multiplayer modes of the game (which seem to be strongly woven together, judging from some of the most recent gameplay footage) on-the-fly hacking (no tech is safe) is one of Pearce’s main weapons.

The player will be able to use the city’s pervasive surveillance and security system (ctOS) against enemies, the police, and against the system itself. The cooperative play on mobile devices allows additional players to enter a regular single-player session via an app and support the console player by completing smaller, sensitive tasks.

Ubisoft has shown the benefits of this cooperative social gaming aspect for high-pressure escape situations, but it may well come in handy —or just be plain fun— in other scenarios, as well. Much less details are known so far about The Division. It already appears to be a highly interactive gaming experience, making use of many of the new networked features of next gen consoles. At its core, the game will be a third-person shooter with RPG elements and set in New York after some not-yet-disclosed catastrophic event. Initial trailers have shown the main player teaming up with other members of an urban paramilitary unit (assumedly the eponymous “Divison”), securing parts of the largely desolate city. It’s so far not entirely clear whether some or all of the other members of a player’s unit will or can be other players on other consoles, but Ubisoft’s heightened focus on collaborative play makes that likely. It would be exciting to see a breakdown of traditional single/multiplayer like what has been shown for Watch Dogs.

As The Division will not be among the titles available at the launch of the PS4 or the Xbox One, detailed information on this game is even scarcer. What we do know, however, is that the game will feature the integration of real-time mobile device participation in a co-op mode, or what Ubisoft calls “companion gaming.” Mobile players will be able to take control of armed drones in a regular ongoing game session and provide air support to the console players on the ground. Although hardcore gamers may be reluctant to embrace these features initially, they might actually have the potential to breach the persistent gap between hardcore and social gaming. Depending on how well these new co-op platform mechanics are executed, hardcore gamers may in turn come to appreciate, even rely on, the support of their mobile partners more and more. Guido Schenkel Senior Project Manager EU This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the. One of the things I most treasure about online communities is that the word “community” in their name is not just a figure of speech. Given enough time, positive intention, and freedom to interact, people in online venues will start to share their lives with each other in amazingly deep and heartfelt ways.

I think it’s simply human nature. We’re social creatures, so given any sort of regular gathering place – be it a real-life “Cheers” type bar or an MMORPG chat channel – people will start getting social. They will celebrate each others’ joys: birthdays, promotions, the births of grandchildren.

They will commiserate with each others’ woes: lost jobs, health issues, failed relationships. And when a longtime member of an online community dies – I’m not talking an avatar getting slain by a dungeon boss here, I mean that real-deal rendezvous with mortality which comes to all of us sooner or later – online communities will want to share their equally real grief (and I’m not talking “griefing” here, either – but I do think you all get where I’m going with this post). One of the Second Life communities I belong to has recently experienced just such a death of a longtime member. As this particular community has been in existence for several years, this is far from the first death it has weathered, so while confronting death is never easy, this group had the experience to respond with grace and strength.

An in-world service of remembrance was held; people gathered in chat to share their memories of the departed; virtual flowers and candles were placed in front of the deceased person’s virtual shop; and that shop was designated a permanent memorial to be kept in place as long as the community is in existence. The community leaders even arranged to lower the region’s virtual flags to half-mast for a week. Not every online group has that wealth of experience to draw on when one of their members dies – let alone the kind of flexibility that Second Life provides. If you happen to be a community manager for such a group when one of their number passes on, you can do your people a world of good by providing sensitive help and guidance in their time of need. You can be the listening ear and gently moderating hand for the community as it grapples with the news and works toward an appropriate response. And in your role as liaison between the community and the client company, you can investigate policies and explore options for making such a response happen. Honoring the deceased does not necessarily have to be elaborate or technically challenging.

It can be something as simple as setting up a special forum topic regarding the deceased, to stay open for a designated period of time; keeping a watchful moderator’s eye on the topic while members post stories, photos, graphics, and other memorial content; and then archiving the topic in a permanent location after it’s officially closed. Depending on client-company policies, honoring the deceased could also include reaching out to his or her real-life family (if such contact is known or welcomed) to share with them the contents of that memorial topic, or listing favorite charities of the deceased so that people can make donations in the person’s name. The important point here is that your people are provided with a way to do something, however symbolic, to channel their feelings and show that they care.

And after all, isn’t that what memorials – and community – are all about? Ellen Brenner Social Media Specialist This entry was posted in, and tagged,. Bookmark the. Video games are a mainstream form of entertainment, and more people are playing games than ever before. Currently, 67% of all American households contain gamers, and the average age of the game consumer is 34, with the 18-49 year-old demographic making up.

As a result, producers pour an incredible sum of money marketing their titles toward the more mature gamer. That said, 25% of the gamer community is under 18, and many adult gamers get into it as a way to keep an eye on their young gamers.

Indeed, that up to 97% of all kids play video games at least some of the time, many an hour or more per day. Playing games together is a time-honored tradition in many families, and it’s the natural extension of family board game nights in techno-savvy households. The challenge for developers, then, is balancing the needs of both kids and adult gamers to create a game that will appeal to a wide target audience. Key Considerations At their core, gamers of all ages want just one thing: a good game. Within that, though, certain things will appeal better to some players than others. Here are some tips for designing a game that will appeal to players of all ages:. Use humor.

Kids love humor, and adults will appreciate a few high-brow jokes hidden in innocuous places. One game that succeeds wonderfully at this is Viva Pinata, where a decidedly adult subtext sails right over the heads of young players while providing amusement to their parents. Consider creating a sandbox-style game.

Image: Disney Infinity, rumored to be a full sandbox gameAlthough it’s not the only model that can be successful, sandbox games give you an automatic advantage when designing a game for a wide audience. Since players can create their own goals, the game can be engaging for people of multiple skill levels. Make sure the controls are simple.

The more buttons involved in game play, the harder the learning curve and the more likely that young players will get frustrated. There’s a reason why the Wii dominates among families: Simple, intuitive controls make for a more enjoyable immersive gaming experience. Make the art style interesting. While photorealism is a popular choice among adult-oriented games, it’s not as captivating for kids (and admittedly a few older gamers) who are more accustomed to cartoons and brightly-clad superheroes. You don’t have to go for a cartoony look, but a unique visual style will signal that this is a game that kids would like.

Make it easy to put down. While adults are often very happy to sit down for a weekend-long game session, kids are usually playing in short bursts between school and homework. Design your game in such a way that real achievements or progress can be made in 30 minutes of game time, and the game can be saved at any point. This will also make it easier for a busy parent to sit down and play along. Striking The Balance There are many enjoyable all-ages video game franchises on the market, including Epic Mickey, Little Big Planet and Viva Pinata.

These games are all very different, but they have one thing in common They’re all well-made, excellent games. Whether you’re creating a sandbox-style game or a puzzle-based platformer, paying attention to quality is what will make your game stand out from the crowd. Formal education through game design programs offered at places like the can help you hone your natural ability to craft this, but ultimately it’s through practice that you’ll hone your eye for a balanced experience. Kids might be forgiving about thin story or repetitive game play, but adults require more intellectual stimulation.